Objective: Once a replaced prosthetic graft is infected, it is usually necessary to re-replace the thoracic aorta to achieve complete resolution of the infection. It is, however, an exceedingly invasive approach to perform such a repeat surgery on patients in a poor condition. We have managed both re-replacement of an infected prosthetic graft and conservative therapy with vacuum-assisted wound closure (VAC) without re-replacement. These two treatment modalities were retrospectively assessed.
Methods: Retrospective clinical chart review was undertaken on 21 patients with prosthetic graft infection after thoracic aortic replacement between December 1999 and December 2012. Surgical outcomes were evaluated between the two groups: re-replacement group (group R, n = 14) and no-replacement group (group NR, n = 7).
Results: In-hospital survival rates were 64.3 % in group R and 85.7 % in group NR. Mortality in group R included five patients, sepsis in two patients, and intraoperative aortic rupture, heart failure, and cerebral infarction in one. Mortality in group NR included one patient (sepsis). In terms of long-term outcome, one patient in group R and one patient in group NR died of rupture of a residual aortic aneurysm, and one patient in group NR died of renal disease during follow-up (52.8 ± 41.5 months for R and 43.2 ± 28.5 months for NR; mean ± standard deviation).
Conclusions: Re-replacement of an infected prosthetic graft after a thoracic aortic operation still carries a significant risk for mortality. VAC therapy may provide an acceptable option for such a subgroup of patients with this serious condition.
- Graft infection
- Thoracic aorta
- Vacuum-assisted wound closure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine